1987 Gr1 Smirnoff Plate

Tony Factor's Imperial March (Can) colt Imperial Silver blotted his copybook when beaten into fifth spot in Gosforth Park's 1600m TAB (Tvl) Juvenile Stakes in early May, but he raced back to the top of his class with a pillar-to-post victory in Scottsville's Gr1 Smirnoff Plate over 400m less than three weeks later.

There were some pretty smart colts ranged against him in the Smirnoff. Happy Farmer, touched off in the TAB (Tvl) at his previous start, Royal Chalice, unbeaten in two starts including the Gr II Clairwood Nursery Stakes little more than three weeks earlier, and a trio of winners in their only track appearances in Goldhurst, Hamildon Hill and Jelos were those most likely to test the Factor colt. But when it came to racing, the contest was for the place stakes, for nothing could live with Imperial Silver.

1987 Gr1 Smirnoff Plate

In a matter of strides Imperial Silver was in front and although a few of his rivals paced it with him early, they were there under sufferance. While Robbie Sham was sitting with a handful of horse 400 out, the other riders had gone for their sticks and the result was a mere formality. Sham gave the odds-on favourite a couple of reminders going through the 200 marker and from then on, it was hands and heels to the line. Although nowhere near Bush Telegraph's race record, Imperial Silver was never in danger of defeat and scored by the best part of 2 lengths from Hamildon Hill, Royal Chalice and Jelos.

This victory took Imperial Silver's earnings to R139 300, some eighteen times his purchase price at last year's National Yearling Sales.

1987 Gr1 Smirnoff Plate - IMPERIAL SILVER - Race Review



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